This was another record-breaking year for The Country Day School’s Senior Track Team. The season started with the largest contingent ever with just over 50 athletes. While most trained and competed, there were a handful that joined the team just to improve their fitness.
As a result of the unexpected ice storm in early April, training consisted of interval running with snowshoes. As coaches, we were so impressed by the dedication, positive attitude and work ethic of our athletes. We knew that this was going to be a good season.
After weeks of training, 35 students travelled to Birchmount Stadium on May 23 and York University on May 24 to complete in the CISAA Championships; the largest team CDS has ever taken to these Championships. There were a number of personal best performances (PB’s) and as a result, the team won the Co-ed title after two full days of competition. Each athlete contributed to the overall success of the team and should be proud of this accomplishment. The Girls won the overall title under the leadership of Jane Stanton ’18. Jane finished her high school career with a perfect record in the hurdle events at CISAA.
Competing at the Metro Championships is always nerve racking and exciting, as it is the qualifier for the OFSAA Championships. This year 17 athletes represented CDS at the Metro Championships in a total of 22 different events. After many tough practices, they were ready to compete, and compete they did. Once again, many new PB’s were set, and for nine of these athletes it meant earning a trip to OFSAA.
The OFSAA Championships were held at the Pan Am Stadium at York University from June 7 - 9. This event is the 3rd largest track meet in North America and showcases many of the top track and field athletes in Canada.
On Day 1 the Junior Boys’ 4x100m relay team of Jonah De Simone ’20, Caleb Clarke ’20, Lucio Masini ’20 & Maxx Railton ’20 qualified for the finals on Friday evening. Although the boys had conservative hand-offs, they ran a PB and qualified for the finals with the fastest time. This meant that they had a target on their backs.
On Day 2, the morning started with the hurdlers. It was a bittersweet race for Jane Stanton who broke 15secs in the 100m hurdle race, a goal that she had been working toward for two years. Although Jane did not make the finals, she finished her high school career with a new PB and school record. Wilson O’Neill ’19 overcame challenges with his starts, to place 8th overall in the 110m hurdle final. As a first year senior, making a final was a big achievement.
Maxx Railton ran a strong 100m in his heat and qualified for the final. This would be the first time CDS has ever had an athlete compete in the 100m final at OFSAA. His relay team came to watch and support him as he ran to a 5th place finish in the final. After the exciting race, the boys went to the warm-up track to get ready for their final. The goal for the team was to stay focussed on their individual marks in order to guarantee clean hand-offs. They just needed to get the baton all the way around the track! After making four smooth hand-offs, the boys not only won Gold, but set a new OFSAA record. This achievement was beyond what anyone expected. Once again, CDS history was made. The CDS community was super excited as congratulations came pouring in from faculty & staff, parents, and both current and former students.
“What a thing you and the team have done. I remember when it was shocking we could win a CISAA 4x100 relay. But a meet record OFSAA time? And jumping up two spots from last year's third place!
My heartfelt congratulations to you and your boys (they don't know who I am, but all the same tell them). I'm so glad the work that the track team has put in is now materializing in such success. I remember in grades 9-12 trying to recruit people to just field a relay team.” Reid Dobell, a former CDS track athlete from the Class of 2012.
On Day 3, there were five athletes who competed. Angelica Tait ’20 and Lauren Adams ’20 competed in the JG javelin throw. They both competed well, overcoming their nerves to place 24th and 18th respectively. Kira Gupta-Baltazar ’20 ran a gusty 3000m race and placed 7th overall. She dropped an incredible 19 seconds off her PB and set a new school record. Wilson O’Neill ran a tough 400m hurdle race and placed 10th overall. Although he missed making the final, he ran fast enough to earn another trip to youth Nationals in Brandon, Manitoba in August. Maxx Railton will also join Wilson at Nationals as he ran under the standard when he placed 5th in the 200m finals.
This year marked the most ever records broken, as the team set 15 new school records, 1 Metro Championship record, 2 Andre Hamilton Relay Meet records and 1 OFSAA record. CDS has an incredible history of outstanding track athletes whose trailblazing results pushed many of the athlete’s to new heights.
The following CDS students set new records this season:
Lauren Adams ’20 (JG Javelin)
Caleb Clarke ’20 (*Sprint Medley & 4x100m, JB Long Jump, ***4x100m relay, Open 4x400m relay)
Jonah De Simone ’20 (*Sprint Medley & 4x100m, ***JB 4x100m relay)
Kira Gupta-Baltazar ’20 (JG 1500m & 3000m)
Lucio Masini ’20 (***JB 4x100m, Open 4x400m relay)
Wilson O’Neill ’20 (SB110mH, 200m, 400mH & Open 4x400m, *Sprint Medley)
Alessia Pizzimenti ’18 (SG 3000m)
Taylor Priest ’18 (SG Triple Jump)
Maxx Railton ’20 (*Sprint Medley & 4x100m, JB100m, 200m, ***4x100, Open 4x400m relay)
Eden Saley ’21 (MG Discus)
Jane Stanton ’18 (**SG 100mH)
*Andre Hamilton Relay Meet Record
**School & Metro Record
*** School & OFSAA Record
With such great results, it is important that we remember success is not measured just by the hardware and does not come overnight. As the great football coach, Vince Lombardi once said, “the only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary.” Congratulations to everyone who worked hard throughout the season to improve in their events! Your coaches are incredibly proud of you.
Thank you to all of the parents, teachers, students and our Head of School, John Liggett, who came to watch the team at OFSAA and or watched the races online. We are very thankful and blessed to have such a caring and supportive community.
We wish our graduates all the best next year. The team will not be the same without you, but we thank you for the outstanding contributions you have made to the CDS track team over the past four years.